North West Ventilation Service

At MFT we provide a specialist service for patients with ventilatory failure who need support with their breathing in the home and community settings.
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Our Long Term Ventilation Unit cares for patients with chronic respiratory failure due to a variety of increasingly complex conditions, who are in need of breathing support by mask (non-invasive ventilation) and more complex support through tracheostomy (invasive ventilation)

A tracheostomy is an opening created at the front of the neck so a tube can be inserted into the windpipe (trachea) to help the patient to breathe.

We are one of the largest Long Term Ventilation Units nationally, caring for over 1900 patients supported by a strong multidisciplinary team. This includes four respiratory consultants, a neurologist, a cardiologist, a gastroentrologist, specialist physiotherapists, specialist nurses, a lung physiologist, dieticians, occupational therapists, social workers and a dynamic nursing and physiotherapy outreach team.

Our team has strong links with the critical care and sleep service at MFT and provides the multi-disciplinary link for the holistic care of our long term ventilated patients. Two of the respiratory consultants are specialists in intensive care medicine and two are specialists in sleep medicine. Dr Andrew Bentley is the Clinical Lead for the service and Dr Tim Felton is the Research Lead.


The unit admits both elective patients – those referred to us in a planned way for support with breathing problems – and those needing emergency ventilation. We also accept patients from other hospitals in the North West for management of their respiratory failure.

We also support patients with their breathing through tracheostomy ventilation and transition children receiving long term non-invasive and invasive ventilation through a tracheostomy to our adult service.

Our highly skilled team members have specialist expertise in placing feeding gastrostomy tubes in patients with neuro muscular diseases, supported by non-invasive ventilation. We support our patients’ changing ventilation requirements through pregnancy and delivery.

We provide a joined up outreach service involving a range of health professionals, and a 24-hour technical backup service for patients who are having difficulties with their ventilator or equipment.

Patients are referred for assessment and treatment of chronic respiratory failure caused by:

  • COPD and Bronchiectasis
  • Neuro muscular diseases (e.g Motor neurone disease, Muscular dystrophies like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Myotonic dystrophy, post polio, CMT, Spina bifida)
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g Morquio syndromes)
  • Chest wall deformities (e.g Kyphoscoliosis, post TB thoracoplasty)
  • Obesity related chronic respiratory failure and sleep disordered breathing
  • Type 2 respiratory failure of unknown cause

We are always working to develop the service further. In June 2016, a bespoke, purpose-built Long Term Ventilation Unit is due to open, including additional beds for specialist “weaning” to enhance recovery for patients receiving prolonged invasive ventilation following admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).


You can learn about our leading research work, how this benefits patients, and how you can get involved, by visiting our clinical research facility pages.


Patient referrals
Patients are referred to this service by their GPs or local respiratory physicians.

North West Ventilation Unit
Acute Block
Wythenshawe Hospital
Southmoor Road
M23 9TL

Phone: 0161 291 6357 // 0161 291 6341.
Fax: 0161 291 6102


North West Ventilation Unit
Acute Block
Wythenshawe Hospital
Southmoor Road
M23 9TL